Rock climbing is one of the best activities to enjoy if you’re a fan of the outdoors. Climbers get to enjoy beautiful scenery and access landscapes from viewpoints that are rarely observed by others. It’s also relatively easy to get started, especially through guided rock climbing experiences or by developing your skills further with a professional rock climbing course.
Physical benefits of rock climbing
One of the main benefits of rock climbing is that you will feel healthier and stronger. Even those just starting experience improved fitness levels, while more experienced climbers boast impressive core strength and highly toned bodies. For many climbers, it’s a great way to work out while avoiding repetitive gyms and mundane exercise machines.
Full body workout
Rock climbing will give your body a complete workout every single time. There’s no need to spend time on each section of the body as climbing will target your legs, shoulders, arms and core as well as parts of your body you wouldn’t even think to tone. The vast range of movements that climbing requires makes dumbbells, squats and sit-ups a thing of the past.
Want to burn plenty of calories? Climbing is the perfect calorie burner. During an average hour-long session of rock climbing, 899 calories can be burnt, and that’s without considering the prep time or packing away afterwards.
Rock climbing requires you to hold on tight, keep holding on and to continue making progress upwards; always fighting the pull of gravity and the psychological fear of getting further and further from the ground. As a result, climbers quickly develop impressive levels of both stamina and endurance.
Many climbers are well aware of the seemingly impossible distances that need to be covered to grab the next handhold. It’s this stretching and reaching that gives rock climbers an impressive level of flexibility, a trait that helps to improve physical performance and decrease the risk of injury.
It won’t just be strength that’s improved while on the rock face, climbing is also incredible for boosting cardio fitness. Putting all of your muscles to work at the same time inevitably leads to your heart and lungs working just as hard to ensure everything has as much as oxygen possible.
Mental benefits of rock climbing
Rock climbing also has copious benefits for the mind. The unique situations that climbing puts you in can do a great deal in focusing the mind, providing stress relief and boosting self-esteem.
Climbing up to any height will inevitably lead to intense focus levels. So, when frequently climbing rockfaces, you’ll learn to clear your mind and blank any distractions. This ability to focus is vital for all levels of thinking and thought processes as it supports perception, memory and learning.
This level of focus can also often become meditative. Getting into that incredibly focused zone can lead to a ‘flow state’ where climbers discover the ability to be fully self-aware. This is an incredible benefit for climbers as meditation can be a tough thing to master.
An obvious benefit to rock climbing is problem-solving. Some rock faces can be harder to master than others, and many will inevitably find themselves in a difficult spot during their climbing career. To overcome these obstacles, climbers develop quick and robust problem-solving skills that are transferable across plenty of situations and are great for overall wellbeing.
Experiencing any level of stress can be extremely disruptive to a person’s life. It can reduce productivity, make sleep disruptive and cause emotional damage. Rock climbing can be an effective way to combat this.
Through climbing, the body will release endorphins that can make us feel happier, reducing stress. On top of this, completing a challenge is an effective way to release pent up tension and to gain satisfaction.
Completing almost impossible challenges and pushing yourself to the limit can become quite addictive, explaining why plenty of climbers are constantly pushing themselves to new limits and trying to improve their techniques.
By promoting ambition and encouraging climbers to test themselves continually, rock climbing can be a crucial inspiration that sees many strive for triumph and satisfaction in many different areas of their life.
Overall, climbing has innumerable benefits, but it’s physical and mental gains can be vital for leading a happy life. With improved physical fitness comes a healthier lifestyle, and with improved psychological wellbeing comes a more determined, focused and success-driven mindset.